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Starting Nine: Astros, Marlins are going streaking

Many things are happening -- on Cut4, in baseball and out there in the rest of the world. Here are nine you need to know about today:

1. The Astros won their fifth in a row, downing the Angels 5-4 thanks to homers from Carlos Corporan and Carlos Pena and a solid Jordan Lyles start.

2. Meanwhile, the Marlins swept the Mets, tagging Matt Harvey for four earned runs in five innings during Sunday's 11-6 victory. Houston and Miami, which entered the weekend a combined 32-78, now hold the longest winning streaks in their respective leagues (Houston is tied with the A's in the AL).

3. Speaking of Oakland ... they've won 14 of their last 16,  sweeping the White Sox to pull within two games of Rangers for the AL West lead. Josh Donaldson did this on Friday:

4. Because we can never get enough walkoffs, here's the Pirates' Travis Snider singling to beat the Reds in the 11th inning:

5. In the same game, Garrett Jones did something no Pirate had done in the 13-season history of PNC Park: send a baseball to Davy Jones' Locker (aka, hit a homer into the Allegheny River on the fly).

6. Justin Verlander, who, as we've noted before, has a strong claim as the most inept offensive performer in MLB history, wants a chance to redeem himself in the batter's box with a spot in this year's home run derby. Count us in on that idea!

7. You know how some mascots, like the Oriole Bird, wear comically oversized hats? Adam Jones apparently wants one of his own:

8. Your Song of the Day is one that Pirates announcer Tim Neverett cleverly quoted to describe what Garrett Jones did with his home run ball:

9. This weekend saw the reveal of both Kanye West's ultra-minimalist album cover art for Yeezus, and the sex of his baby with Kim Kardashian: It's (going to be) a girl. Kim's sister Kourtney suggested Cleopatra as a name, but it would need to be "Kleopatra" to fit in with the family tradition.

-- Cut4 Staff